Anti-tank Guns in Crossfire

Some musing on Anti-tank Guns in Crossfire including anti-tank ambush fire and the justification to allow ATG to group fire.

Ambush fire for anti-tank guns

Crossfire defines Ambush Fire as “a form of Reactive Fire. Hidden Squads/HMGs that occupy a Feature being entered by an enemy Squad are considered lying in Ambush … Each Ambushing Squad is awarded one extra firing die per attack.”

All very straight forward; the question is, what about anti-vehicle fire? I’d suggest that ambushing should also give a bonus for anti-vehicle fire, e.g. at least +1 ACC and if you want it to be particularly devastating a +1 PEN as well. .

Nikolas Lloyd on Anti-tank Guns

I assume that ATGs have a full crew (in a specific scenario I might say otherwise), and give them +1 ACC because they have more pairs of eyes that can look around. An ATG is likely to be in a good spot in familiar terrain, with a good field of fire, perhaps with certain landmarks already ranged-in, and will hear the tank in dense terrain before it sees it. The tank will be stumbling half blind in unfamiliar terrain, cannot locate the ATG by sound, and I think therefore should not be as good ACC.

Now I think about it, though, perhaps the +1 ACC should only be for the first shot.

Barrie Lovell on Anti-tank Guns

Fair comments. IIRC correctly the Soviets reckoned that each anti tank gun would kill a couple of tanks before it was destroyed itself. german atk guns frequently got off half a dozen shots while the tank struggled to return fire or drive out of the line of sight. A well sited gun was a far more efficient tank killer than a tank IMHO, and both the Soviet and german armies made effective use of them.

Pakfront: Group fire for anti-tank guns

I think I’ve finally found the justification I need to allow ATG to group fire.

Typically in Hit the Dirt if a side has 3 ATG they get a PC for them. Seems reasonable, given ATG were organised into sections, batteries, companies, etc like other arms. The question is, what does the PC do? Well, I’d say, just what any other PC does, i.e. help with rallyiing, close combat, and most importantly, group fire. The last point has been problematic, and I’ve had resistance from the guys I game with on it (particularly since we give most ATG a +1 ACC).

But I’ve found my historical justification – the German Pakfront. I’d been aware of the term, but hadn’t read a description of it. According to Robin Cross “Citadel: The Battle of Kursk”, the Pakfront was up to 10 ATG under a single commander. The commander was responsible for concentrating fire on a single target at a time. A perfect description of a crossfire in Crossfire.

But not all nationalities used this tactic. Early Soviet, for example, used ATG separately with little success and only adopted the Pakfront themselves after seeing the Germans method in action (against themselves). The Russians form was their anti-tank resistance points (PTOPs) first used at Kursk. Apparently this was quite effective as guns killed 75% of the German tanks knocked out during the battle (Lesson one: ORGANIZATION AND ELEMENTS OF AN ANTIARMOR BATTALION; broken link).

Now, I suspect, my own ATG can achieve the same level of success. +1 to hit and group fire!!!! I pity those poor tankers.

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